Implementing FIRST-ADLX Framework in a Learning Session on the Major Signs of the Day of Judgement: Lessons from the Experience of Ms. Thurayya Shaaban

Over several weeks, I conducted a series of sessions with a group of ten learners, aged 12 to 13 from diverse schools but sharing conservative devout family backgrounds. The sessions focused on the signs of the Judgment Day, covering minor and middle signs in the preceding weeks, and culminating in a ninety-minute lesson on the major signs of the Day of Resurrection. During the final session, I implemented FIRST-ADLX Framework to create an Active Deep Learner eXperience. 

To facilitate the learning session, I formed three groups of learners and assigned each participant a number from 1 to 3.  After that, learners with the same number formed new groups. Then, we provided each group with three major signs of the Judgement Day, and they collaborated to help others guess them. To facilitate the process, the learners were allowed to use any means they wished, such as drawing, acting, or playing the hangman game.

After introducing the nine major signs of Judgement Day to the learners, I presented a video that organized the signs in order and provided a brief explanation for each one. To enhance active engagement, I offered a bonus point to the group that could write down the most information from the video. As a post-watching activity, we discussed each sign separately and shared the ideas gathered. Using their responses, I organized the information logically and sequentially, probed for understanding, assessed their comprehension, and provided additional previously prepared information.

For the second activity, I incorporated all the signs we had covered so far, including the minor, middle, and major signs. To make the activity more captivating, I arranged 54 plastic cups in the shape of a crossword and labeled each cup with a letter to spell out the names of the learners. Additionally, I placed an Emoji next to each name to represent their unique personalities.

Inside the cups, I placed the following items:

  • 40 slips of paper, each featuring a sign of the Day of Resurrection
  • 5 cards containing challenges that, if completed, would give the team a mark
  • 5 slips of paper with motivational phrases which did not count toward the team’s mark
  • 4 empty cups

During the activity, the learners were given the opportunity to choose a cup and complete a series of challenges to earn points. Motivational quotes were read aloud, and the learners encouraged each other throughout the activity. Even when the learners picked an empty cup, they laughed and continued to participate. The learners were also challenged to sort the signs of Judgement Day correctly in order to get the point and explain them to earn an additional point whenever they chose a cup with one of the signs. The group with the highest score won the game; however, positive reinforcement was emphasized, and we cheered for everyone to avoid negative competition. 

Throughout the activity, the domains and principles of FIRST-ADLX Framework were implemented as follows:

The 1st Domain: Focusing on the Learner

  1. Individualization: To create a personalized and engaging learner eXperience, the cups were labeled with letters that spelled out the name of each learner. Additionally,  Emojis representing their personalities were included on the cups.
  2. Probing and Assessing: To evaluate the learners’ understanding of the material, I asked them questions about each of the signs, probed their responses for deeper comprehension, assessed their knowledge, identified areas of improvement, and clarified ambiguities.
  3. Trust the Learner: Throughout the learning experience, learners were given multiple opportunities to share their thoughts and demonstrate what they had already known about the topic. This not only created a safe and inclusive environment but also demonstrated trust in the learners’ ability to contribute meaningfully to the overall eXperience.

The 2nd Domain: Interacting Within Positive Group Dynamics

  1. Social Event: Group work and interactive activities fostered a welcoming and integrated learning environment that enabled learners to reflect on their newly acquired knowledge.
  2. Positive Spirit: The learners were encouraged to enjoy themselves during the activities, resulting in a positive atmosphere filled with laughter and smiles.
  3. Motivation and Attention: To maintain the learners’ focus and increase motivation, a reward was offered to the winning group in each activity. The learners were offered bonus points in the first activity and were provided with potato chips in the second.

Additionally, motivational phrases and sentences such as “What a beautiful face you have!” had a positive effect on the learners, further enhancing their engagement throughout the eXperience.

The 3rd Domain: Reviewing Activities within RAR

  1. Readiness Increase: All necessary supplies such as papers, pens, and cups were prepared before the class began. Clear instructions were also provided to the learners before the activity commenced.
  2. Activity Facilitation: I facilitated my learners’ work,  accompanied them during the first activity, clarified ambiguities, offered them bonus points during the second activity, recorded the points, and categorized the grades.
  3. Reviewing Actively: During the session, I encouraged the learners to reflect on what they learned by using the reflective model “What? So what? Now what?” This helped to deepen their understanding of the topic.

One of the learners asked me: “Why do we learn about these signs? Are we supposed to be afraid of Judgement Day?”

I explained then that it is important to be aware of the signs of the Day of Resurrection so that we prepare for the Hereafter and perform different acts of worship. It’s not about living in fear, but rather it’s a reminder to prioritize our spiritual journey and strive toward righteousness.

The 4th Domain: Sequencing Activities 

  1. Structuring and Sequencing: The learners were asked to share what they understood from the video in an organized, sequenced, and comprehensive way.
  2. Repetition (Without Boredom): The information was repeated across different activities to reinforce understanding and retention.
  3. Linking and Summarizing: The signs were summarized and linked together by discussing their connections.

The 5th Domain: Transforming Learning Into Performance 

  1. Reflection on Reality: Each sign was related to its potential occurrence in real-life situations. For example, when discussing the fire of Yemen and the gathering of people in the land of Ash-Shaam (The Levant), some learners related it to their country of residence and concluded that we might gather in our hometown since our country is in the Levant region. 
  2. Practicing and Experiencing: The learners were asked questions to help them imagine the experience of being present when the signs of the Resurrection Day appear. They were invited to express their feeling if the Antichrist were to appear in our time or if any of the major signs appeared in their lifetimes. A video was also shown to help learners visualize the events of the major signs, such as the eclipses, the appearance of the fire in Yemen, and the emergence of Gog, Magog, and Antichrist.
  3. Continuity and Follow-up: A Kahoot competition was conducted the following week to assess the learners’ knowledge of the different signs (minor, middle, and major), and a learning journey on the topic of the Day of Resurrection was initiated.


After applying FIRST-ADLX Framework, a significant increase in the learners’ enthusiasm was observed.  The class was consistently engaging and interactive which made me realize the importance of incorporating diverse activities in each session. Previously, I had been unknowingly applying many principles while teaching, but now I am more conscious and systematic in my approach and more aware of the results it produces.

O Allah, help us learn what is beneficial to us, help us benefit from what You enabled us to learn and increase our knowledge.


Thurayya Shaaban

Religious Education Volunteer Teacher for courses and seminars at Al Irshad Wal Islah Association in Beirut, Lebanon since 2017

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